Prediction of competition between oilseed rape and Stellaria media

P. J.W. Lutman*, P. Bowerman, G. M. Palmer, G. P. Whytock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Ten experiments have investigated competition between winter oilseed rape and Stellaria media (common chickweed). Yield losses caused by this weed were often high, but differed greatly between experiments, 5% yield loss being calculated to be caused by 1.4-328 plants m-2. Predictions of yield loss based on relative weed dry weights [weed dry weights/(crop + weed dry weights)] in December were somewhat less variable than those based on weed density, 5% yield loss being caused by 1.4-10.6% relative weed dry weight. The variations in yield loss were related to variations in the competitiveness of the oilseed rape and the S. media, caused by weather differences between years and sites, and the long period between weed assessment and harvest (8-10 months). However, despite the lack of precise relationships, there were indications that the greater the crop dry weights in December, the lower the final yield loss. Delayed sowing of oilseed rape until late September did not clearly increase the competitive effects of the weed compared with late August/early September sowings. Weed competition was not clearly affected by reduced crop density (44-113 plants m-2), because of the compensatory ability of the lowest density. The results of the experiments are discussed in relation to the prediction of yield loss and, thus, possible adjustment of weed control strategies to meet expected crop losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalWeed Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jun 2000


  • Oilseed rape
  • Stellaria media
  • Weed competition


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